Pope: confession is encountering God’s forgiveness with a sincere heart and "a child’s transparency"
Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Confession "is not a session with a psychiatrist" and neither is it "a torture chamber", but an encounter with God's forgiveness with a sincere heart and "a child's transparency".
The Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, in which the Apostle before the community in publicly admits "good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh", inspired Pope Francis today to dedicate his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta to the sacrament of reconciliation.
Vatican Radio reports the Pope pointed out that St. Paul "claims to be a "slave" who does not do the good he wants, but the evil he does not want. The Pope observed that this also happens in our life of faith, that "when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand". "And this is the struggle of Christians. It is our everyday struggle. And we do not always have the courage to speak as Paul speaks of this struggle. We always look for a justification: ' But yes, we are all sinners '. We all say this, right? We must say this forcefully: the battle is ours. And if we do not recognize this , we can never have forgiveness of God, because if being a sinner is reduced to being just a word, a phrase, a saying, then we do not need God's forgiveness. But if it is a reality that makes us slaves, we need this inner liberation of the Lord, we need that power. But what's more important is that to find the way out, Paul confesses his sin to the community, his tendency to sin. He does not hides it".
The humble confession of one's
sins is what "the Church asks all of us", says the Pope, who also
cites the invitation of St. James: "Confess
your sins amongst you". But
"do not advertise them" rather do so "to give glory to God," and
recognize that it is "He who saves me". That's
why going to confession to your brother, "your brother priest " means
acting like Paul. Especially
with the same "concreteness". "Some
people say, ' Ah, I confess to God.' But that's easy, it's like confession by
e-mail, right? God is there in the distance, I say things and there is no face
to face, it is all private. Paul confesses his weakness to his brothers face.
Others say: ' no, I'm going to confess ' but they confess to things that are so
ethereal, so airy, that they have no substance. And that is the same as not
confessing at all. Confessing our sins is not session with the psychiatrist, or
a visit to torture chamber. It is saying
to the Lord, 'Lord I am a sinner ' , but to say this through your brother , so
that the admission becomes concrete . 'And I am a sinner for
this, for this and this . '"
Pragmatism, honesty and also a sincere ability to be ashamed of one's mistakes: there are no alternative paths to the open road that leads to God's forgiveness, to feel his forgiveness and his love deep in my heart". "The little ones have that wisdom when a child comes to confession , they never say generic things. 'Father, I did this and I did this to my aunt , I said another word ' and they say the word . They are concrete! They have the simplicity of the truth. And we always have the tendency to hide the reality of our miseries. But there is one thing: when we confess our sins, and they are in God's presence , we always feel that grace of shame. Shame is a grace before God . It is a grace : ' I am ashamed . ' We think of Peter when , after the miracle of Jesus in the lake he said: ' But , Lord, leave me, I am a sinner . He was ashamed of his sin before the holiness of Jesus Christ".